New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman operates in two modes. He is either completely wrong or given to superficial platitudes written in an appallingly bad style. But like all the other warmongers who occupy the top niches of the US political-media establishment, there is no problem for which more bloodshed is not the preferred solution.
He casts his eye at the current mess in the Middle East that his recommended polices such as invading Iraq have caused. We see ISIS gaining ground and being perceived as a serious threat. They are a Sunni group and the forces opposing them are mainly Shiite, and the major Shiite force in the region is Iran which is apparently providing logistical and advisory support. Since Israel wants the US to attack Iran, Friedman wonders why the US is fighting ISIS, Iran’s enemy, and asks whether it might make more sense to arm ISIS instead.
Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS? Or let me ask that differently: Why are we, for the third time since 9/11, fighting a war on behalf of Iran?
ISIS, with all its awfulness, emerged as the homegrown Sunni Arab response to this crushing defeat of Sunni Arabism — mixing old pro-Saddam Baathists with medieval Sunni religious fanatics with a collection of ideologues, misfits and adventure-seekers from around the Sunni Muslim world. Obviously, I abhor ISIS and don’t want to see it spread or take over Iraq. I simply raise this question rhetorically because no one else is: Why is it in our interest to destroy the last Sunni bulwark to a total Iranian takeover of Iraq? Because the Shiite militias now leading the fight against ISIS will rule better? Really?
There is a reason why no one else is asking that question, Tom. It is because it is unbelievably stupid and it takes a Thomas Friedman to reach such a high bar. But for these people, there is no problem for which the solution is not more weapons, more war, more deaths.